The growing social awareness regarding online images and general information related to minors has prompted various legal frameworks and technology companies to take measures to protect their privacy. Google, one of these tech giants, now provides an option to request the removal of images of minors from its search results. Here’s how you can do it:
Google has been implementing privacy changes aimed at providing users, especially minors under 18 years old and their parents or legal guardians, with greater security and data protection. One of these changes enables individuals to request the removal of all Google Images search results featuring minors under 18 in which they appear. It’s important to note that this request won’t delete the actual photos from the websites where they are hosted, as that involves a separate process. Instead, it prevents these images from being accessed through Google’s image tab or search engine thumbnails.
In this article, we will guide you through the entire process to carry out such a request. Before you start, you’ll need to compile a list of web addresses (URLs) of photos featuring minors under 18. Additionally, please be aware that this action can only be applied to cases where you are directly affected.
How to Submit the Removal Request:
Visit the Google webpage dedicated to this action, which you can find at this link.
On the webpage, Google clarifies that this action won’t remove images from the internet but will only hide them in Google searches. Make sure to check the specific requirements you must meet for this request.
Click the “Start removal request” button.
On the next page, select your country and provide a reason for requesting the removal of the images. Choose the option that mentions “The content shows a person under 18 years of age.”
Google will reiterate its conditions, emphasizing that this action doesn’t delete the images but merely hides them. Confirm that your request does not involve images showing implied sexual actions, as there is a different reporting process for such cases.
In the final step, enter all the URLs where you have identified photographs of minors under 18. Additionally, include keywords and search terms that lead to these photographs. This ensures that Google will prevent similar results from being displayed with the same terms.
It’s important to understand that the photos will not disappear from the internet, and Google emphasizes during the process that some reported content may not be removed. Google takes into account the need to “balance user preferences with the public interest and limit the removal of content from all queries that include identifying terms.” Therefore, public and journalistic interest also plays a role in deciding whether content is removed or not.